Jan 13, 2024

Best desk lamps 2023: Ikea to Anglepoise

By Daphne Bugler

It's time to banish dark corners and old dusty lampshades and finally get your home office in order with GQ's pick of the best desk lights

Lighting can really determine the tone of a room, bringing to life dull areas of your living space or transforming a simple four-walled box into a cosy atmosphere. And if pandemic working encouraged you to start kitting out your home office, alongside the best ergonomic office chair, desk and slick furnishings, a desk lamp to get the mood just right should be your next essential on the list.

Styles come and go, but our selection of the best desk lamps in both traditional and modern styles will each bring a sense of elegance to your workspace – not to mention the Zoom glow-up they'll afford. From LED desk lamps with wireless chargers to space-saving lamps for small desks and adjustable lamps with swing arms and flexible necks, varying colour modes and dimming options, there's something here for every decor style. And, now that the natural light you're used to is gone well before the workday ends, a good light source is essential.

And, if you're looking for additional equipment to upgrade your work-from-home setup, head to our guides to the best office chairs, standing desks and computer desks. Or find further lighting inspiration in our guides to the best lighting and the best outdoor lights.

In a unique tripod style, this table lamp from Heal's is one of the most stylish in our edit. From the high-quality walnut base straight up to the linen shade, no stone has been left unturned in the design games here.

As multi-functional as a desk lamp can really get, Dyson has gone full tech mode with its development of the Solarcycle. From daylight tracking to a light that's designed to reduce eye strain, to the option of setting indirect background light rather than a directly targeted stream, it's the lamp that really has it all.

With a range of colourful designs available, Pooky's table lamp brings both light and style in equal measure to your home office. And it needn't even be confined to just there, as you can charge it up and move it around as and when you need to.

We've gone through all of our favourite desk lamps in detail below, but if you're just after a quickfire guide, look no further…

On first glance, you might think choosing a desk lamp is a simple and straightforward task. But with so many different types now on the market, each with its own set of settings and features, it can al get a bit complicated. The key deciding factor to keep in mind is whether or not you want a traditional desk lamp – such as our picks from Anglepoise and Ikea – or something more high-tech such as the models by Dyson or Taotronics.

Your choice then comes down to personal taste, as well as what type of lighting and potential shade to suit your space. Consider the colour and whether it goes with the rest of the furniture and accessories in your office space, as well as if you prefer working in bright white or warmer yellow light. If you're looking to be better lit on a Zoom call, a desk lamp with an adjustable neck is worth thinking about. If you struggle to read in low light, you might just want something that can shine a light down on documents.

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Sitting somewhere between a mid-century lamp, and the kind of sleek wooden designs that we weirdly associate with a ship captain's desk set-up, this table lamp from Heal's is the kind of desk lamp that gives off old-fashioned, retro home office vibes. Made from walnut wood, with a tripod base that just commands authority, it’ll bring height and light to your desk in one fell swoop. Romanticise yourself one of those wood-fulled work-from-home set-ups of the pre-internet era and fit this right in. £159. At

Taking the rechargeable desk lamp and giving it a stylish refresh, Pooky's Philieas Lamp is here to bid adieu to the eye-sore-esque desk lamps of the past. Best described as functional meets aesthetic, style is definitely not an afterthought here, with an antique brass look that gives off a classic feel. Pop this on almost any desk, and it gives off the illusion that you’ve really taken the care to curate your home office set-up (whether or not that may be true). Rechargeable, you can also move the Phileas around, as and when you need it, without having to worry about cords being tangled or the availability of plugs. It's hard to fault something so useful, especially when it looks this good at the same time. £120. At

When it comes to your choice of desk lamps, you can either go down the classic route of industrial-style metal fixings and black designs, or you can be a bit more playful and fun and opt instead for a table lamp like this one from Oliver Bonas. Bringing a subtle pop of colour that’ll help brighten up your home office from its lifeless state, the green and pink marbled design, and solid green lampshade keep things fun and elegant at the same time. If you don't need one of the more technical lamps, this has got you covered. £125. At

Anglepoise lamps are the crème de la crème of the desk lamp world, seamlessly fusing style and function. They may not come with the bells and whistles of wireless charging pads and different levels of brightness, but your workspace will have never looked better than it does with one of these bad boys on it – especially in the ink colour scheme with brass accents. £259. At

OK, but what if your desk lamp could do more than just, well, light up your desk? Funnily enough, this one actually can. The LED desk lamp comes complete with a USB port, wireless charging compatibility, is dimmable with five brightness settings and gives you the option to change the colour temperature with different ambient light settings. If you want a lamp that puts functionality first, this one goes above and beyond. £149.95. At

If there's one company you can trust to engineer almost anything you need to future-proof your home – from vacuums to fans to hairdryers – it's Dyson. Its Lightcycle Morph desk lamp is one of the most functional you can buy, with a wide range of technology, settings and intelligence options that go above and beyond anything we ever imagined a light to be capable of. The mechanics allow you to adjust the light to suit your living space and preferences, while GPS tracking monitors the amount of daylight to adjust the colour temperature and brightness subtly every 60 seconds. You can control the light through the Dyson Link app, rotate the head to your preferred angle and trust that the lamp will last thanks to the satellite cooling technology that prevents the LEDs from overheating. The future is very much now. £499.99. At

If you're not looking to spend the world on your desk lighting but still want something stylish and practical, let us introduce you to our favourite affordable desk lamp. At only £65, it shuns the bells and whistles for a simple industrial-style design and a handy, moveable swivel head. £65. At

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The Lumie lamp combines standard office-style aesthetics with a SAD lamp, a type of light that the brand has become known for in recent years for drawing on the principles of bright light therapy to pick you up on dark winter afternoons. Which means not only will it light up the documents on your desk, it might just give you the mood uplift and energy shot to make it through your next Zoom. £144. At

Original BTC's Hector Dome desk lamp is a premium option that doesn't lose the classic stylings of traditional desk lamps. The shade has been created with bone china from a Stoke-On-Trent ceramics factory, providing a good level of warm light, paired with a brass structure that you can use to angle the light in your direction of choice. It's simple yet elegant, with a timeless design that will suit most home office spaces. £259. At

A trustworthy and reliable lamp at a very affordable price, Ikea comes through once again with its Ranarp Work Lamp. The design is old-fashioned with steel joints and a textile cord and is built for stability with added weight to keep it in place. It's a basic lamp, but it performs just as well as some of the more premium options. £39.

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For more interiors, fashion and technology releases delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our GQ Recommends newsletter Reason to buy: £159. At Reason to buy: £120. At Reason to buy: £125. At Reason to buy: £259. At Reason to buy: £149.95. At Reason to buy: £499.99. At Reason to buy: £65. At Reason to buy: £144. At Reason to buy: £259. At Reason to buy: £39. Now read: Best standing desks for your office Best diaries and notebooks for a productive 2021 13 ergonomic chairs to upgrade your home office